DAVID THOMSON, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Legal education is at a crossroads. As a media saturated generation of students enters law school, they find themselves thrust into a fairly backward mode of instruction, much of which is over 100 years old. Over those years, legal education has resisted many creditable reports recommending change, most recently those from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Clinical Legal Education Association. Meanwhile, the cost of legal education continues to skyrocket, with many law students graduating with crushing debt they have difficulty paying back. All of these factors are likely to reach a crescendo in the next few years, setting the stage for a perfect storm out of which can come significant change.
But legal education has successfully resisted systemic change for many years. Given that dubious track record, the only way significant change can reasonably be predicted is if something is different this time. Fortunately, there is something different this time: the ubiquity of technology. Since the MacCrate report in 1992, the internet has achieved massive growth, and a generation of students have grown up with sophisticated and pervasive use of technology in nearly every facet of their lives.
This book describes how the perfect storm of generational change and the rising cost and criticisms of legal education, combined with extraordinary technological developments, will change the face of legal education as we know it today. Its scope extends from generational changes in our students, to pedagogical shifts inside and outside of the classroom, to hybrid textbooks, all the way to methods of active, interactive, and hypertextual learning. And it describes how this shift can – and will – better prepare law students for the law practice of tomorrow.
Source: LSN Cyberspace Law Vol. 13 No. 50, 08/11/2008
See also this fothcoming book’s corresponding blog.